Reason has now run the first two of four episodes in a video about encryption, the Cypherpunks, and related issues. So far they are very good, and I thought people reading this blog might find them of interest.
Part one: https://youtu.be/YWh6Yzr12iQ
Part two YouTube link: https://youtu.be/n4qonsvSgAg
Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2871428809807821
Reason.com link (with full text and credits): https://reason.com/video/cryptography-vs-big-brother-how-math-became-a-weapon-against-tyranny/
The thing about privacy is that people don't seem to care about it very much. People are quite cool about their phones tracking them, recording everything they do online, facial recognition etc. Even if the government passes laws that increase state power most people don't care. Modern day technology has enabled a surveillance society like never seen before.
Only people actively hunted down by the government give a hoot about privacy. You can see it by looking at the dark net markets. Bitcoin used to be the currency of the dark web, but these days it is so easy to track by the state, that is is increasingly abandoned by the ecosystem. Bitcoin is a public ledger and it is very easy for state actors to make educated guesses about who's who.
Monero is the cryptocurrency being increasingly adopted by the dark net actors. It is currently giving the government quite a headache and the IRS has recently put out a bounty on its head. 625,000 dollar reward for anyone able to crack Monero.
As Monero is getting bigger and rising in popularity, the government attention it receives is also increasing. It is used by criminals yes, but what I think the state is most afraid of is that Monero is a financial system that is outside of its control.
It is going to be interesting to see who is stronger: cryptography or the US government.
Added bonus: Milton Friedman predicts cryptocurrencies! ;)
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